If you are trying to customize your pickup or SUV for off-road or desolate-highway use, start with the lights. Adding spotlights, light bars, and extra driving lights helps ensure you can see your way through situations where not knowing what's up ahead can be dangerous. Whether you're driving in open-range land or in an unfamiliar dirt patch at dusk, those extra lights can keep you safe.
Some states, such as Idaho, have areas that are known as open range. This means that cattle can range freely to graze (generally in unenclosed areas outside cities, towns, and certain districts), including over highways. That means you could be driving along a rural road and come across a cow right in the middle of the road, and the cow has the right of way. If you hit the animal, not only can you do severe damage to your vehicle, but you will have to pay the owner of the cow for any injuries or the death of the cow. And if you die—quite a possibility if you hit a large cow at a high speed—your family has to deal with the aftermath.
If you drive anywhere in open-range land, you must not only watch your speed and pay attention but also use extra lights if you drive at night. Even high-beam headlights can't always spot an animal in time to give you enough time to brake.
Reassurance in Unfamiliar Areas
Driving off-road in a relatively new area isn't really something you should attempt at night—there are too many animals, too many rocks, and too many unexpected dips and holes. But if you have to travel through rough terrain and it's getting dark, or if, somehow, you've ended up off-road in the dark anyway, those extra lights can help you see your way out. Do not speed through the landscape even if it looks clear when you have the lights on; you never know what small things are lurking, like animals about to dart out from bushes. But with the right extra lights, you have a better chance of spotting an animal before you run over it.
Check the Law!
Additional lighting on trucks is a surprisingly contested feature, and not just by owners who prefer one style over another. Many state laws affect what you install, where you install it, and when and where you use it. Always be sure that the lights you install are legal in your state and any state you take your truck to, and be sure you know when and where you're allowed to use them. For example, if you're driving in an unfamiliar neighborhood where the streetlights are out, you still shouldn't use your light bars or spotlights for additional lighting, as many places don't allow those on city streets. (And you do have your regular high beams anyway.)
Custom accessory companies like Pacesetter Truck Caps & Accessories Inc will have several types of lights that you can evaluate. Let the staff know why you need them and where you take your truck so that they can help you find the right set of lights.